There seems to be some trouble in River City – or rather Omaha. Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning endorsed former State Senator Heath Mello in Omaha’s mayoral race. Dunning supported Mello’s opponent and current Mayor Jean Stothert in the 2013 race. Apparently the relationship between Dunning and Stothert soured. Dunning part of this stems from the city and county wanting to merge the crime lab – that is currently operated by his department.
Dunning says, “She was trying to convince me on the crime lab that there were others that started those meetings, not her – when in fact that is not true. I was upset obviously because they started meeting in October or November of 2015. I wasn’t invited to the table until the last week of February of 2016. Obviously I wasn’t happy about that because what are you doing talking about my crime lab when I’m not there.”
Apparently the situation escalated and Dunning says he blocked Stothert’s calls and texts. Dunning says, “What degree of yelling is there. She yelled and wanted to argue and I didn’t want to do that anymore.” However, Dunning says the city can still contact him as he did not block contact from Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer’s number or Stothert’s chief of staff. Stothert denies the accusations.
Dunning says he is also concerned Stothert continues to annex subdivision of the county but there is not enough police protection to go around. Dunning says, “I have no criticism of men and women of the Omaha police department or Todd Schmaderer for that matter. They do a great job but I don’t think they have been given all the resources they need to do their job. Without those additional resources all they can do is respond to calls. They are not going to have the ability to be proactive.”
Dunning says his deputies responded to an accident last month in the western part of Douglas County because the closest Omaha police cruiser was more than 150 blocks away.